La Toya Jackson: Tyrant Husband Made Me 'Most Hated' Person in the World
By Nicki Gostin Posted Jun 28th 2011 09:29PM
La Toya Jackson's newly released 'Starting Over' is really a bifurcated memoir. The first half is about the abuse, both physical and mental, that she suffered under her manager/husband Jack Gordon. The latter deals with her gradual reconciliation with her famous family, especially Michael, and what she really thinks of her brother's death. Since the book is a two-parter, let's mimic that and only delve into one-half of La Toya's harrowing story, saving her striking theories about MJ's death for Wednesday.
This must have been a difficult book to write.
I had to write this book and I did not want to write it because I didn't want to think about it. I wanted to put it behind me. I was embarrassed to let people know that I endured this but then more women came up to me and started telling me their stories and how they'd been abused and crying and saying, 'You need to go out there and speak.' I started thinking they're right, they need a voice. People walk into your life, they control you, they take away your dignity, your self-esteem and self-worth. They take away from you everything that you love from you and they seclude you from your own family and this is a way of dividing and controlling and conquering you from your family. Women need to know when a man touches them it's one time too many because it doesn't stop there, he's going to do it again and you can get away. You can start again and they need to know that.
You were with Jack Gordon a long time.
It was nearly ten years. I had no choice, no control. If I was to make a move or do anything, first of all I was surrounded by his people and also he promised me that he would kill my brothers and then kill me. He said, 'If you ever try to run away I'll come and find you and kill you and your brothers.' I believed it because I knew the way he operated.
He forced me to do everything against my will, like Playboy magazine. I would get beatings twice a week. The straw that broke the camel's back was when he wanted me to do porno with a couple of men. I said, 'I can't do this.' He said, 'Yes you are.' And he got in the shower and I picked up the phone and I was terrified he was going to catch me and I made a phone call to my mother and father and they told my brother Randy, 'You get over there and get her now,' and he got on a plane and got me and I escaped.
Why do you think you were so susceptible to someone like Jack Gordon?
I know exactly why it happened. He was fortunate enough to get a religious girl who knew nothing about the world, who was wealthy and he could take advantage of and use her and make money off her and then toss her aside. He told me, 'I'm going to make you the most hated person in the world.'
So you had parallels in your life with Michael, in terms of being isolated.
Absolutely and that's what they do. They isolate you and control you. You have no one to go to, you're dependent on them.
Part 2 of my chat with La Toya runs Wednesday. In it, the singer-actress unravels what she sincerely believes was a conspiracy to murder her brother, Michael.
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